Materials Engineer

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Materials engineers study the relationship between a product's performance and its structural composition. They design, produce, and evaluate materials and how they are used in engineered products, as well as create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, chemical, and structural requirements. They may be involved in improving existing materials and how they are processed, or in developing new materials or manufacturing processes which improve cost-effectiveness and environmental sustainability. Materials engineers have developed the ability to create and then study materials at an atomic level, using advanced processes to replicate the characteristics of materials and their components using computers.

They are involved at all stages of materials processing, from the extraction of raw materials to the manufacture and recycling of engineered products. Materials engineers are often employed by companies involved in metals, plastics, ceramics, and energy. However, an increasing number find employment in the research sector, studying biomaterials, tissue engineering, and nanotechnology.

Chemical Engineering

Those specialising in chemical engineering can be a materials engineer in the food and pharmaceuticals industries. Although, understandably, pharmacists generally dominate the pharmaceutical industry, there is a rising need for people with a chemical background to assist in development and production of pharmaceutical products. Although developed by chemists, pharmaceuticals require the expertise of chemical engineers to clarify that there would be no potential problems when the product moves to the production stage.

Civil Engineering

Materials engineers in the civil sector select materials for use in a wide variety of infrastructural projects, including roads, bridges, buildings, pavements, and foundations. They deal with ceramics (such as concrete and asphalt), metals (such as steel and aluminium), and polymers, aiming to improve their strength, durability, and environmental sustainability. Depending on the nature of the civil project, materials engineers may be involved in testing materials' bearing capacity, strength, flexibility, density, and their responses when subject to simulated earthquakes, floods, and winds.

Mechanical Engineering

Materials engineers with a focus on mechanical engineering study, design, test, and improve the materials used in constructing mechanical systems. They may be employed in the automotive and aerospace industries to develop lighter, stronger, and environmentally sustainable materials for vehicles and their components; or in the manufacturing or agricultural industries to select materials for the construction of machines and processing equipment.